Who are you designing for anyway?

Lately I’ve been re-evaluating why I’m designing. Is it just to make money, is it to impress someone, like a client or fellow designer, or is it for myself?

To make money?

If I did that, I’d create illusions for myself. Only the really great designers make good money off designing (I’m not talking blogging, just designing). Sure, I think I’m creating nice designs, but I’m not fooling myself by saying I’m great.

My boss?

Good thing I don’t have one. The reason why, is because I don’t want to be a pixel pusher, working for someone who tells me what to do, even though I know it’s wrong. I rather sell electronics during the day, and design websites for MY clients in my spare time (I used to do this).

Impressing someone?

Sure, I love hearing clients go: “Oh, that’s perfect”, but I know they don’t have a clue how much effort I put into that tiny little detail on the left they never noticed. Creating a web site for a client is filling their need for a good looking website, but even if you skip insane details only other designers would recognize, you’ll still impress them.
Speaking of other designers; I’m not convinced that I’m the designer other people look up to, and sure, I probably created something other designers can pull inspiration from, but impressing them? Nah, there are tonnes of designers out there that are truly inspiring to others. I’m just another web designer looking forward to create another new design, which brings me to my final statement.

For myself?

Yes, I’m designing for me and only myself. This might sound egocentric, but it’s true. I got into this business well over 10 years ago because I was intrigued by designing stuff on my computer. I started off designing ASCii-art. The stuff you see on Twitter now is not even getting close to the awesomeness we created at the end of the 90’s. We formed groups that would “release” ASCii-packs to show to the world through BBS.
Then came the internet available at my parent’s place. A whole new world opened up and I started fiddling around with web design. You know, with tables in Frontpage. I got degrees, recognitions and pads on the shoulder for finding something I really liked doing, and I kept pushing forward into making my career out of it.
Now, about 10 years later, I’m still planning big things for my company, but I will always be designing. Either for web or for the next generation of the web (whatever that may be). I just enjoy doing what I do.

What about you? Who are you designing for?

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